Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 6:56 PM
Monday, July 30, 2007
In all the world, I have no more favorite piece of music than the Ode To Joy, taken from Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Today as I was listening to it, and wondering what these loud, robust German voices could be proclaiming, I remembered an article from The Moral Compass, about Beethoven's last days, and the writing of this symphony.
That article ascribed to Beethoven an exemplary faith of one facing his last days, where he says "...Indeed, a hard lot has fallen upon me! But I resign myself to the will of destiny, and only ask God constantly to grant through His divine will that, so long as I must still suffer death in life here, I am protected from penury. This will give me the strength to bear my lot, however hard and grievous, with resignation to the will of the Almighty". Sounds pretty faithful to me. It was based on this quote, as well as my love for the Ode To Joy, that I decided to look up it's lyrics today, and got a big fat shock.
Beethoven was deaf, from his early twenties on and upon the diagnosis of this malady, he went through a period of suicidal tendencies. He was also thought to be bipolar. His childhood was troubled, as the son of an alcoholic father, who's mother and siblings died early on from tuberculosis and who was forced to raise his two younger brothers. Yet that never stopped the amazing work that this freelance musician composed. In addition to writing some of history's most notable works, he was also a skilled pianist, who began performing as a child and was declared by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to be a musician who would "astonish the entire world".
What I find most fascinating about Ludwig van Beethoven, however, was his religious beliefs (huge surprise, I know). Some think that Beethoven was a Freemason, but others have called him an atheist, as well as a Deist in the fashion of Goethe. Upon a closer look into both his statements and the themes of his music, it seems to me that Beethoven was at best, a Deist (though in direct contradiction to his words above about the will of the Almighty), if not a Pantheist. The guy's music rocked, but his faith was not so rock solid.
A close look at the words sung in the Ode To Joy show that the song is about the "brotherhood of man" and though references are made to God being worshipped in the heavens, by the cherubs, never once is man shown to give God such regard, but instead man's role in this ode is to turn to one another for solace and peace and joy, and then to the wine poured by the pagan god Elysium.
This theme is repeated throughout as is this sentiment, "Joy, beautiful spark of the gods, daughter of Elysium, we enter fire imbibed, heavenly, thy sanctuary. Thy magic reunites those whom stern custom has parted; all men will become brothers under thy gentle wing."
What the ?*%$??? Talk about disappointed. Here in my head, I had always idealized this dramatic and moving piece of work as being a hymn to the Lord, praising His attributes amongst creation, much like Francis Of Assisi's "All Creatures Of Our God and King" (probably in my top 5 favorite hymns of all times). Sigh! Well, we all know what happens when you assume...
Man was clearly created to worship and praise the Sovereign, Almighty Father, through the merits of the Son, and with the aid of the Spirit. Yet, as I searched for more lyrics of Beethoven's, never once was this alluded to, much less written about. All I can do is hope that the last words of this famous composer, "Not yet! I need more time!", which were accompanied by a shaking face aimed at stormy skies, were in response to a call to salvation rather than any unfinished business, musical or otherwise, here on earth. Till the day, in heaven, when I can worship with songs never before heard, and of such great worth and talent, that they are only divine, I think I will continue to delude myself by ignoring the meaning behind Beethoven's works and add my own words of praise, eternal and divine to their beautiful sounds.
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 11:10 AM
Sunday, July 29, 2007
No, I'm not talking about the communicable disease buffet that is most waterparks....
I'm talking about bamboo. I bought a bamboo this week. Well, Home Depot has so many of their plants on sale, and how could I resist? It's pretty cute, and a little twisted (hehehe, like me!). So I say someone should start a pool to see how long I can keep it alive.
My own guess is one month. Any takers?
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 10:15 PM
So, guess where I'm sitting right now? In my new chair - an overstuffed one at that. I have my feet up on the ottoman, but there isn't much room between the top of my legs and the bottom of the desk. See, I'm also sitting here using my new computer.
Wow, I'm blessed. So today, for FREE, I got a new computer (well, it's new to me, and only a year old really), an overstuffed chair (reeaally nice, big enough for two people squishy style, and it's going to be THE chair for Sunday afternoon naps, I can tell you that right now), the matching ottoman and a microwave. I friggin' love Craigslist!
I'll post pics later, cuz after moving around all this stuff, I'm pooped and ready for bed. The only bummer is that all this stuff is moved into the old place, and in a month's time I'll have to move it into the new place. At least it isn't very far.
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 9:53 PM
Friday, July 27, 2007
....Well, we all know how that old adage goes. Thumper, the cutest rabbit to ever live thankyouverymuch, said it best. "Mama says, if you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all"
So, in all honesty, if I haven't posted lately, it's not for lack of anything to say. It's for lack of anything nice to say. In between roommate drama, feeling a bit friendless and alone lately, questioning my own stubbornness in wanting to become a pastry chef, missing an old friend that I used to love, my recent diagnosis (and frustrations) with Celiac's Disease, and more roommate drama, I've just not been a very cheerful me.
I came to that realization last night when I was having dinner with my best friend, and I could sense her losing patience, albeit nicely, with me. She didn't have to say anything, I could just tell that my cynicism wasn't anything she wanted to hear. So I did my best to shut up.
And so, I haven't posted this week. And I might not post this coming week too. I have written tons, trust me, but then when I proofread them, I realize that nothing I have to say is encouraging or upbuilding or anything I want associated with my name a month from now, so I delete the posts. I might not have much to say, but at least I'm not saying anything I'll regret.
And that's all I have to say about that! For now.
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 8:23 PM
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Unlike millions of other geeks who dressed in wizard robes with fake owls glued to their shoulders and stood in five-hour long lines, I waited till the day after to get the new Harry Potter book. That doesn't cancel out the fact, however, that as soon as I got off my shift this afternoon I beelined for Target, and made straight for the "literary" section (chick lit, brain candy abundance, spare me), barely stopped at the end of the aisle display to pick up the book, pivot-stepped to the shortest line and was reading it by the next stoplight. Yes, in the car, at the stoplight.
It was there, on Hiawatha and Lake, that I did what I always do with a new book. Urrrrrrrr...screeeeeech!!! No, I didn't cause an accident. I did the vastly unthinkable. I turned to the last page and began reading.
Wait a minute. Hold up a sec. This is the book that half the literate world has been waiting for, and that the author and publishers have implored major metropolitan newspapers to keep mum on. I can't read the last page. I don't care if I do do that for every book. (I'm not quite into the fourth chapter of Matthew Pearl's The Poe Shadow, but I know that Edgar Allen Poe was involved in some pretty heavy stuff there in Paris.) People have lost their jobs over leaking the end of this series (that guy with the blog), and yet, as nonchalantly as other car habits (singing, checking my teeth, scrutinizing my hair), here I was reading the end of this great mystery.
Unthinkable!! You have to understand though - I hate surprises. In life, books, movies, love, you name it. I am not a surprise kind of girl! (Just a word of warning, surprise parties are a surefire way to incur massive embarrassment and slight irritation. I know, I know, it's the thought behind it, and all. But really, I would much rather be able to control some element of a situation, or at least believe that I do.) Anyways, back to Harry Potter. I had to ask myself, there at that stoplight, as the book covers came smashing together on my finger, whether or not it was worth the o.c.d. habit, to read the end?
I decided, there and then. At 759 pages, this is going to be a long wait, but I think I can manage it. Wait, who am I kidding? This is going to take every ounce of self control I have!
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 5:17 PM
Friday, July 20, 2007
I have to laugh, because a few years ago, when I first met Peggy Johnson, I had to try to convince her I wasn't all crafty/homey. She just thought she knew that I was a Martha (Stewart that is). These days, as I think of refinishing my new bathroom, all I can hope is that she'll offer some advice, or at least a few pointers, on the linoleum, caulking, paint, etc. She's the Martha Stewart, and I'm hoping she lets me ask her ten million questions as I get to work on the new place.
I wish I was a Martha Stewart. I'm so not and for once, I really wish I was. I have my work cut out for me in the new place, and I need vision, style, talent.
I have finally decided on some paint colors, at least. I'm leaving the adorable green in the kitchen, and have decided to leave the Tobacco color of the living room as well. I'd really like to accent it though with like, a Tiffany's blue. Come on, who doesn't love Tiffanys? The bathroom is going to be a pretty color called Peach Bud, a light blush color that should shed some light in there. And the bedroom, egads!! Right now it is bright periwinkle blue. Excuse me while I go spit out the barf that came up just now. It's new color will soon be Ruby Ring. Although, I'm worried that red walls, red sheets, red lamps, will it be too red? Should I think of doing a different color? But I like red. It's so warm. Hmmm.... the verdict is still out on the bedroom.
Ok, speaking of lamps, I FELL IN LOVE with some lamps at Pier 1 tonight. Y'all would be so proud of me. I went to Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Pier 1, and I only spent $8. On picture frames, of which I'm convinced you can't have too many. Eight dollars. I did so good. Pier 1 had some amazing deals though, and I was soooo tempted!! I especially fell in love with these adorable lamps. They're still a tad out of my price range, but by next week, well who knows? Anyways, till I know exactly what I want, I'm not going to spend money needlessly.
So, coming home tonight, I thought, I could use some inspiration. So to get in the Asian mood that I hope will gently permeate my new abode I ordered my favorite Mandarin Beef with gluten-dork friendly white rice and am watching a great Kurosawa masterpiece, Rashomon. Nothing says "get ready to decorate" like Samurai films!!
Seriously though, this is a classic. It has even defined a psychological phenomenon, when people can't discern truth, from conflicting accounts of the same event. IMDB gives this synopsis:
"The film depicts a rape and murder through the widely differing accounts of four witnesses, including the perpetrator and, through a medium, the murder victim. The story unfolds in flashback as the four characters—the bandit Tajōmaru, the murdered samurai Kanazawa-no-Takehiro, his wife Masago, and the nameless Woodcutter recount the events of one afternoon in a grove. But it is also a flashback within a flashback, because the accounts of the witnesses are being retold by a woodcutter and a priest to a ribald commoner as they wait out a rainstorm in a ruined GateHouse. Each story is mutually contradictory, leaving the viewer unable to determine the truth of the events."
In any case, I have seen it once before, and it is a lot to follow, so I thought I'd try it again tonight. And, I was hoping to find some good black and white stills of the samurai and his wife, for framing in the living room. Sweet!
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 7:48 PM
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Ok, here's the other thing, I mean besides my recent trips to Home Depot bringing me great joy & mirth (keep reading, you'll get there)....
I am a mental case today when it comes to guys. I talked to the non-chivalrous ex today, and we putzed around verbally, as I tried to get up the courage to tell him once and for all that I don't even want to be friends. Mission so not accomplished.
The thing is, he's a nice guy, and sometimes he can really turn it on But other times, well, other times he's just not such a nice guy to me. Did I mention, in my post earlier (uh huh, keep reading, you'll get there), that he made this comment the other night about how the only girls who ever wanted to date him have horribly low self esteem. I just looked at him. Looked. For a long time. He didn't get it. Urgh!!!
And the other thing is this, I had a horrible dream last night. A nightmare, that woke me up sweating, angry and scared. I dreamt the guy I've been in love with for the last three years (yeah, not Mr. Knight above, not even close!) came home to a family reunion between our two families (as likely as flying pigs bringing me $5 million in a Louis Vuitton bag), and he was MARRIED! I mean, I have reconciled myself to the fact that since he thinks we're just friends, that some day he really will come home married to someone else. But in the dream, he was married to some white trash, bus station skank with a kid. An ugly kid with Kool Aid stains around it's mouth and dirty clothes no less. And her, with her overly bleached hair and pallid skin and Wal-Mart knit dress, really she wasn't winning any prizes in the anything department. URGHURGHURGHURGHURGH!!! He was all playing with the kid, as DimWit sat in the corner not talking to anybody. And he had married her. HER!! I woke up so angry, at like 3 in the morning, just angry, swearing that if it was the last thing I do, I need to get over him.
Seriously though, this dream like, ruined my morning. I woke up and I had a craving for rusty nails with a side of Beastie Boys for breakfast. I didn't even crack any jokes in the kitchen at work, and the girls were left without mirth and dork dancing. All because of the thought that he could end up with someone, well someone lesser than me.
Now, like I said, I know the day will come when he will fall in love with someone other than me, and marry her. I've always pictured that woman as head & shoulders above me. And, I kind of thought, too, based on the little twits he's expressed attraction to, that he would pick some hot little blonde Britney Spears lookalike (wait, Britney Spears...white trash...I'm making a connection!) I mean, if it were character or personality he was after, he has someone who's been in love with him for three years right here. I'm ready to love him with all my heart.
But I've figured, since we're just friends, that it must be a lack of attraction thing. And I can deal with that. I mean, like Popeye said, "I yam what I yam". I'm dark & swarthy & chubby, kind of a like a cross between Jack Black and Captain Jack Sparrow (come on, I know you can picture it). But heck, I like me. I've got great hair, and I tan fairly well, and even Mr. "Chivalrous" says I have a great smile (though, can he really be trusted?). Anyways, I like who I am, and someday so will someone else.
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 8:34 PM
So tonight, I made the trip. To Home Depot. I spent, like two hours in there, just wandering the aisles like a lost sojourner, searching for the way home, ur, that is to the check out line.
I was good, I only bought a magazine (Oprah at Home) and a few plants (two orchids and two bamboo). But what I gained cannot be measured in monetary fashion. Who could measure knowledge? Who could confine wisdom? Muahahahah!! Muahahaha!!!
I just have to say, I am so excited to move into the new place. But even more exciting than moving in is getting it ready to be moved into. I am going to paint the kitchen cupboards, and see if Jon will help me refinish the hardwood floors (since he's such a pro at it). And I'm painting the bathroom, and the bedroom, and the living room. Pretty much the only walls that will remain untouched by my color driven hands are the kitchen ones, but we already know that I adore their shade of Kelly Green. Yeehaw!!
Also exciting tonight, I went to Kramurczuks and got "sassage". Andouille and Polish, and tomorrow a Jambalaya will go in the crock pot to feed my newly gluten intolerant self.
Ok, I have a confession - I don't believe in Karma, but if I did, it'd be a bitch right about now. See, I recently found out I'm gluten intolerant. Yep, that's right, a baker who can't eat wheat. Look at me laugh, see. I'm laughing.
So what does this have to do with Karma. Well, an acquaintance of mine used to be allergic to like, everything, and I used to make fun of him mercilessly. Seriously, the first time I met this friend of a friend was at a Thanksgiving dinner where I had done all the cooking. All twelve courses of it. There were brussell sprouts with bacon and chestnuts, two kinds of stuffing, an infused & brined bird worthy of the pages of Martha Stewart, two kinds of pies, mashed potatoes that would make you cry, from scratch gravy, the list goes on. And this poor guy couldn't eat any of it. At first I felt sorry for him, but then he got on my nerves a little bit and inside, I admit, I was making fun of him.
Fast forward 5 years - I am lactose intolerant. I can't eat cheese, ice cream, milk, sour cream, cream cheese, cheesecake, cheese curds, grilled cheese. I am gluten intolerant. I can't eat pizza, pasta, bread, pancakes, soy sauce, waffles, muffins, croissants, cakes, you name it, if I can bake it, I can't eat it.
I kind of deserve it though. Maybe. For making fun of him. But I'm sorry, I really am. I know now what a pain in the butt this is, and I'm sorry. I just want my gluten back! I do!!
Well, I guess all that money I save on frozen pizzas and Bertollis 10 minute pasta dishes I can put towards home repairs & remodeling. Really, who needs bread when the food I will nourish my body onwith will be the labor of my hands as I transform my new apartment into a sanctuary of warmth and style. Muahahaha!!! Muahahahaha!!!!
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 7:05 PM
Monday, July 16, 2007
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 10:46 PM
I am being sentimental today. I want to go back to China. Oddly enough, I miss Beijing. The few days I spent in this foreign place, last year, did not seem enough, and I long to explore every nook, cranny & crevice.
In my sentimentality, here are some images that are making me even more wistful. Oddly enough, they're all cityscapes, though the rolling hillsides of the country in Hailar and Hulun Beier are equally missed.
I envy those friends who get to/got to spend months there, and wish God would call me out of the pastry kitchen, into something bigger/grander. Till then, these are the images that strike me tonight.
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 10:04 PM
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 11:24 PM
Friday, July 13, 2007
Ok, back to the whole mess. So, for now, the TV is a little low, but I'll go back this weekend and get the TV stand. It just means another project to put together - fun!!
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 7:24 AM
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I've never really purported that thisI was a foodie blog. I mean, I am a foodie, and I have foodie links to the left, here. But, really, I've never talked too much about things I've made or tried, or whatever.
Then today, I was talking with a friend from overseas, and she said that the whole time she was over there, she would read my blog looking for new recipes, and to see what delectable treats I was making in her absence. Wow. I didn't know I had a following. I'm grinning from ear to ear, but ashamed to admit I'm not baking or cooking much these days. I mean, I'm a single girl. I cook all day for work. I'm not going to come home and make Italian Sausage and Roasted Mushroom Risotto, like the old days. Ohhh, I miss risotto.
But, about a month and a half ago, a friend of mine had a birthday, and in good taste, what did I get him but a nice bottle of bourbon. There are few people I could get that for, and I knew he would appreciate it. Unfortunately it never made it's way to him. I got kind of upset with him about a conversation we had, and ended up opening it up myself one Sunday night. A few days later I ran to Target and got him a DVD set instead. Yeah, I suck, I know. But come on, it was a great series and I think he was never the wiser.
Anyways, now I had this open bottle of bourbon, and honestly, I'm not a big drinker at home. I don't drink alone, that is to say. If someone is here, and I'm entertaining, well, that's a different story. But alone, yeah, that reeks of desperation and singleness. Next thing you know I'll have forty cats roaming around and newspapers stacked as high as windows. Nah.
So I decided I would try to find a recipe to use up some of it, and after scouring numerous bread pudding ones, I decided on making some truffles using it. Yumm! So, in honor of my friends, both overseas and bourbon deprived, here is the recipe I used. I named them Moon Over Bourbon Street Truffles, since that was one of my favorite songs in high school. The recipe worked great for me, was pretty easy, and I'm sure anyone with bourbon sitting around begging to be used will be grateful. For the rest of you, it's the perfect excuse to keep reading to past the recipe, to where I review my three favorite bourbons.
Moon Over Bourbon Street Truffles
For the filling:1/4 cup heavy cream
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
6 oz. milk chocolate, chopped (preferably Valrohna or ScharfenBerger)
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped (preferably Valrohna or ScharfenBerger)
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey (I used Basil Haydens)
Dutch process cocoa powder for dusting
For the coating:
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped (again with the Valhrohna or ScharfenBerger)
1/3 cup finely chopped pecansFor the filling: In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cream and butter. Stir until the butter melts and the cream simmers. Remove from the heat. Add the milk chocolate and semisweet chocolate, and stir until just melted and very smooth. Remember that the mixture will cool as you stir it, so it might help to let it sit for a minute or so before stirring, to give the chocolate time to melt. melted and smooth. Mix in the whiskey, then pour into a glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate until firm enough to mound in a spoon, about one hour.
Line the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a melon baler or a teensy tiny ice cream scoop, scoop out the filling into round mounds and drop onto the sheet, spacing them evenly. Cover and freeze until almost firm but still pliable, about 30 minutes.
Spread the cocoa on a flat plate. Roll each chocolate mound between your palms into a smooth ball, not letting it get too warm, then roll it in the cocoa to coat evenly. Return the truffles to the sheet and freeze them while preparing the coating.
For the coating: Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the semisweet chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl. Place over but not touching the barely simmering water in the lower pan. Heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
Remove the truffles from the freezer and dust any loose cocoa. Using a fork, gently drop 1 truffle ball into the chocolate, tilting the pan if necessary to coat the ball completely. Slip the fork under the truffle, lift it from the chocolate, and tap the fork gently against the side of the pan to allow any excess chocolate to drip off. Gently slide the truffle off the fork onto the prepared baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle generously with the pecans. Repeat with the remaining truffles.
Refrigerate, uncovered, until firm, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Makes about 18 truffles.
So, now how does one even begin to decide what kind of bourbon to get? Let me make it easy for you! There are three bourbons that I can wholeheartedly recommend, and they span the scale from light, flowery & sweet to "whew, I don't remember a thing from last night". So, really it all depends on your preference and taste.
The first one is Makers Mark, which, of the three I like, is the lightest. Maker's Mark was the bourbon that turned me into a bourbon drinker. It is very well rounded and easy to drink with a light tawny, amber color, and an exotic fruit entry. It is lush, not too terribly deep and malty and known particularly for it's smoothness. I think this is because, unlike other whiskey, there is no rye in it. This makes it much easier to drink, and is a good jumping point into the lovely world of bourbons.
The second one I recommend, is Knob Creek. Knob Creek is what I would call an all around great, general purpose whiskey. It is 100 proof, so you're definitely going to catch the feel of the alcohol going down, but really, isn't that part of the fun? Unlike Makers Mark, Knob Creek is rich, dark, and dense, with a full mouth feel. It is a medium amber color with some fruitiness to balance it's spicy vanilla & nutmeg notes. Someone once told me that Knob Creek has a soft entry and a long finish, but that same person also mentioned that they thought it sometimes had a hint of a Wild Turkey-ish kick, which in my opinion would not be pleasant. But I have never experienced it, and I say all in all it's a wonderful middle of the road whiskey bourbon.
The last bourbon is Bookers. Now, Bookers is an uncut bourbon, which means it goes straight from the barrel to the bottle. So, if Makers Mark is mild and smooth, and Knob Creek is full and rich, then Bookers, well Bookers is a kick in the pants with a leather boot! But as much as Bookers will put hair on your chest, it never compromises it's smoothness or drinkability. It has a deep, tawny amber color with deep hints of vanilla, caramel & smoky oak. It definitely lingers on the tongue, and all the way down, making it not for the faint of heart (well that and the fact that it's 125 proof), but if you're up for a bourbon that balances well against a good steak and cigar, this is your baby!
Did I mention that all three of these are made by Jim Beam distilleries in Kentucky. Really, if you're not going to get your bourbon from Kentucky, why bother at all?
So, that's it for my foodie post. I feel like I have been truer to my passion for for sweets & liquor than to any reputation I have as a culinary guru. Maybe that's because (and yes, I really am going to say this, cliche as it is!), much like my taste in guys, my taste in food tends to gravitate more towards sweet, smooth, strong & all American. Wow. I really did say that. Hahahahah!!!!
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 4:33 PM
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Hehehe. I don't know what made me come up with such a random title, except that today, there are three things on my mind.
What I want.
What I like.
What I want some more.
Oh, yeah, you could say I'm being a big, selfish, baby! I'm never really like this, you know, really wanting things, or thinking on them.
But for some reason today, I keep thinking that I'd really like to get the BBC series Planet Earth on dvd. It's so cool, and I've been enjoying it so much on Netflix, that I would like to own it. Leah and I watched the second disc Sunday night, and we both were cracking up at the stunning, black feathered, male Bird of Paradise and his failed attempts to attract a mate. He put new meaning into guys just trying too hard. Everytime I watch this breathtaking series, however, I'm surprised at the wonders of creation and always catch something new and enchanting. I wholeheartedly recommend it!
What do I like? Right now, I'm in a quite musical mood. Tonight I've listened to everything from Etta James (can you picture me lip syncing with passionate face & hand gestures to "At Last"), to Sublime, to Gladys Knight & the Pips (not the Pimps, hehe), to Paolo Nuttini, to Martin Sexton (that's nothing new, I listen to him all the time, I'm in love with his voice and can't wait to see him at First Ave in September!!)
And while listening to him puts me in a melancholy mood, it also makes me think of something else that I want, and have wanted for the longest time now. But again, I'm a big, selfish baby, and have no right to ask for what is God's alone. URGH! Easier to get a dvd series huh?
Well, if not the other thing, then furniture, right? I got a great trade off tonight.... someone from Craigslist is going to give me their adorable red & white Hom Furniture sofa, and an overstuffed leather chair (in tan/camel), with ottoman, delivered for free, in exchange for a birthday cake from the bakery. Ok, who scored???
Why do I need furniture, you may be wondering? Well, God willing I will be moving into a great one bedroom apartment in about a month. Right now it needs a ton of cleaning, and some painting and some small repairs. So that will be my new project for the next few weeks, and I am so stoked about it. If there is anything I really do look forward to, it's home repair & renovation projects, and this can be just the start I'm craving.
The only challenge will be getting all this free stuff up the stairs....any volunteers to help??
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 8:32 PM
Monday, July 09, 2007
How do you guard your heart against love? Some would ask, why would you want to in the first place? Well, my personal answer to that is exactly that, personal. But let's just say, hypothetically speaking, if a certain someone where to stay sane amidst a friendship with someone they dearly loved, they better guard! Guard, guard, guard!! Like Shaq, I better guard!
In Song of Songs, the young woman known as Beloved charges her companions "Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires." (Song of Songs 2:7) Three times, this pursued, adored woman warns her friends to guard their heart until the time is right. Just why, oh why, does she never say how?
So, I'm convinced of the necessity, I am willing to do what it takes, what's the problem then? Well, this weekend I found out that all I thought I knew about how to guard against my own heart was dead wrong. I realized that all the old tricks that I thought helped me do it flat out failed. Yeah, they don't work so much anymore. Maybe it's not the old tricks that don't work so much as I'm just no good at them. I think I need a lesson from the Solomon's girl!
Now to give myself some credit, I'm a lot better at this than I used to be. I know I have learned to keep a pretty straight face and hide most of my emotion, and that seems to help. Unfortunately, sometimes I make the enthusiastic leap to the opposite side of the spectrum, where I feign hostility and annoyance in an attempt to hide the love and adoration I feel. Not the smartest move, but most of the time I think I keep a pretty neutral facade. These tricks and ploys do nothing for my actual heart however. Though they may hide what's going on in it to the outside world, inside my heart is still asking "how? huh?"
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 8:41 AM
Friday, July 06, 2007
Tonight, I had dinner with an old flame. The kind of dinner, that if we had still been together, would have been entirely lovely & date worthy. We went to this little Mexican restaurant in St. Paul where the margaritas were strong, the Mexican folk music was live and the salsa was muy caliente.
Too bad our friendship isn't so muy caliente anymore. We talked, and one of the most delightful subjects of the evening was his reluctance to drop the question of why we weren't getting back together.
Just a disclaimer, he dumped me the first time and I dumped him the second time. It turns out I wasn't "cool" enough for him or his friends, thus dump #1. And when it was my turn, he just didn't make me enough of a priority/make enough time for me, and I didn't think we were spiritually compatible. Thus dump #2.
I don't mind that we talked about it, if things were a little bit different between us, like, if I wasn't pissed that he dumped me in the first place. It is hard to hear that someone doesn't want me, because that just makes me want them more. Yes, I'm so that girl. The stubborn one!
And it so doesn't matter that I know, deep down, that he is not the guy for me, and therefore I have no business dating him. It doesn't matter that I told him I don't think we should date or see each other. The fact that he reminded me that at one point in time I wasn't "hip" enough for him just grates on my nerves for the sole reason that it makes me want something that I can't have. I don't even want the thing that I can't have, but the fact that I can't have it makes me want it anyway. Does that make sense? At all??
So, even though I know I shouldn't date him, and I don't want to, because he never treated me like I was important to him, and in the end, I would have been leading us spiritually, tonight I left dinner longing to get back together with him. Was it the attention of a decent guy & a dinner out on Friday night? Or was it being with someone, who at one time, I thought was pretty "hip" himself (something that initially attracted me to him)? Or was it the challenge of trying to prove to him that, yes, I was cool enough/smart enough/interesting enough to be worthy of his stupid pop-culture obsessed friends?
I may not read Chuck Palahniuk & listen to 70's soul music all day long, as I sit discussing existentialism in cinema in some obscure coffee shop, but at least I'm not some Full House quoting ex-cheerleader who drives a freakin' Mini or a Jetta. Urgh.
Why do I even care what this guy thinks? Why do I care what any guys think? Why am I so stubborn? Why do I ask so many questions? Does that make me a thinker? Does that make me interesting? Does that mean we can get back together? Haha, just kidding. Not on your life buddy!
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 10:40 PM
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Now you want to hear funny? The podcast is actually narrated by some Scottish people. Yep, they're from Scotland, and basically it sounds like Mike Myer's dad in So I Married An Axe Murderer teaching me Spanish. "Cabesa, mueva la cabesa grande!" ("Head, move your big head! I'm not kidding, that boy's head is like Sputnik!") Heehee, I digress. Anyways, when I say the words, they sound pretty authentic, but when the podcast folks say it, it's kind of hilarious, because it's all with the neatest little Scottish accent. I love cultural diversity!
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 9:39 PM
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I love my "family"! I mean, they're not really my family, since we're not blood related, but they might as well be for as much as I love them & feel loved and accepted by them.
I met my "family" three years ago this Thanksgiving, when a dear friend, who I miss a lot, brought me home for Thanksgiving dinner. At the time I thought it meant he liked me, but I know now, well, I think he was just taking pity on me, since I don't have any family in the Twin Cities, or in Minnesota for that fact. Whatever the case, I met them then, and have loved them dearly ever since.
Today I got to spend amazing quality time with them, and in the past year or so, that has become one of the things I thank God for most in my life. The time I spend with them is always pleasant, wholesome and upbuilding. Yeah, sometimes we get a little tired, or grumpy, and things aren't always perfect. But like I said, I feel more loved and accepted by this group of people than I ever have by anyone in my life.
I don't know what the point of this post is about, except that as I try to unwind and go to sleep tonight, I am so blessed by having spent last night and all day today with my "family". I love them, and want to tell anyone who'll listen. So there it is. I'm happy! Good night.
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 10:55 PM
Sunday, July 01, 2007
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
I am blown away by God's mercy and grace towards me today. His amazing love, and patience are of infinite scope and I cannot even begin to glimpse them knowingly. Yet, I will be totally honest here, I am frustrated with myself, because I want Him so much more.
I realized, today, in church, that I am discontent with where I am at. I am so lukewarm, and like Jesus Himself said in Revelation, I would rather be hot or cold, but I want to spit this lukewarmness out like tepid well water from my mouth. It hit me today, a slight epiphany (I wish it was much more life shaking), I am sick of my spiritual state. Literally, sick, disgusted by myself. Ok, now don't get me wrong, I'm not being overly hard on myself, in a fit of self-depreciation. I just had a wake up call from God. If I am feeling this way about where I'm at with Him, what must my God be thinking?
I have a friend, one I miss a lot, but whatever. He has a saying - when things get pretty bad, and you think it couldn't get much worse, and you look at your life and it sucks, well, at least you didn't marry a prostitute. It stems from the Hosea/Gomer account in the book of Hosea, in the Minor Prophets. There is a song, by Pedro The Lion, which I love, called "Of Minor Prophets And Their Prostitute Wives", which reiterates the theme of God's patient calling back of Gomer, through Hosea, and all that it symbolizes (namely that the song is written to you & me, not necessarily Gomer). All this is to make a point, that sometimes I use this phrase, in jest, and think, well, things are bad, but at least God hasn't made me do something I never thought I could, something reprehensible like marrying a prostitute.
Today, however, I realized, I am that prostitute. I am a dirty, fallen woman. Maybe no more, or less, than some other people, even other Christians, if things were looked at quite literally. But in my heart, I know my own lukewarm attitude, my take-it-or-leave-it way of living, my faithlessness, my distrust, and my own self-dependant, self-serving attitude. I am no different than faithless Israel, who so many times would whore themselves for little things, and forsake the God that was waiting for them like a faithful, loving, patient Husband. Do I think I am any different than the people that God had to send prophet after prophet to?
I fail to remember His goodness and His provision, much less thank Him for it. They did the same. I turn to my own ways, often sinful and hurtful, to provide for my life, my needs and my wants, instead of waiting on Him to be my all in all, my supporter and provider - basically my Husband. They did the same. I forget what pleases Him and neglect to even try to bring Him glory, and instead seek whatever makes me happy, pursuing my own plans, my own little pleasures. They did the same.
How, when did I slip so far? I want my Jesus back in my life! I want my joy back, and I want to love on my Jesus so much again. I miss Him, so, so, very much. I just want my passion back!!! Lukewarm living has taken it's toll, and it was in God's grace and mercy that I even could recognize it. I know He has gone nowhere, but I have. I have turned to myself, again, in a fit of independence, instead of turning to the One who has it all in His hands. But now, I just want Him back! How faithless and fickle a woman I am. When I leave, and I fail in my stupidity, I am blinded, but then, I turn and want Him back?? Who am I to even deserve Him?
You know who I am? I am Gomer. Gomer whom He called back through the love of Hosea. I am Israel, Israel who He forgave time and again, and redeemed in an act of pure love. I am Trinette. I am the most undeserving, independant, selfish woman, and I totally am His child, who He has promised to love and to redeem. I am the one who holds this promise, as so dear to my heart:
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful ...
...“Hear the word of the Lord, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands:’ He who scattered
Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty,”
And like the song goes "But your still playing for a love you'll never find outside of these arms of mine. The whole town is one step behind you, with the hang man on call. They've got the judge and you're convicted without a plea. Darling, they will listen to me. So, come home, darling, come home quickly, come home, darling, all is forgiven, so come home quickly." I know that I can go home, I can run home, quickly, like a child into His open arms, His waiting arms. It is in those arms alone that I will find the love that I desire, and that sparks my heart to trust Him alone and to live passionately for Him. The thought of that kind of love brings me to tears tonight, because I cannot fathom it, I cannot replicate it, I can only embrace and accept it. And tonight, I am blessed to go to sleep knowing that I am loved, and redeemed and guarded in His big, strong, infinite hands. I may be a prostitute (aren't we all?), but I am loved. Just like Gomer. Just like me.
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 8:47 PM
I just love my "cultured friends", not all of which are pictured here. Those people with a heart and a passion for a culture other than our homogenized, cookie-cutter American ways. Those people who when it's suggested that we go to the Midtown Global Market, don't go "where?". Don't worry, I love all my friends, but there is something so refreshing about being around people who can embrace other cultures with verve and excitement.
So, that's where we ended up for lunch today, the MGM, and in addition to lunch, we were treated to the Bike Festival and Salsa Dancing with Renee!! Every Sunday this vivacious Cubano is there teaching dancing to the Minnesota masses, but this was the first Sunday I ever got up and danced. Of course, I managed to only get in the conga line, but all it took was one other person brave enough to encourage me, and boom, we were off skirt twirling and hip rolling.
K, on the other hand, well, we couldn't get her to sit down and eat her lunch. Her excitement brought me great joy! I hope to go back soon, and now know that there is someone else willing to shrug off their inhibitions and bailar, bailar, bailar (that means dance, for all you non-Spanish speakers out there)!
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 6:55 PM